Lousy welcome: I generally appreciate the "no holds barred" writing that I find in the Houston Press. This week I didn't. The information presented in Richard Connelly's article "Houston Uncovered" [January 29] is nothing new.
In one form or another, we've been made aware of these unattractive aspects of our city. So help me understand why it all had to be regurgitated into one convenient take-out package and aimed directly at the thousands of visitors here for the Super Bowl?
There is more than one "reality" to our city. I'm sorry that Mr. Connelly chose the ugly, rather than the attractive. We deserve a little better than this. And will this article really help better our city now that our visitors think a little more poorly of us?
There are plenty of opportunities to "uncover Houston" when it's just us Houstonians reading.
Flesh foresight: Gee, after Janet Jackson, "Houston Uncovered" takes on a whole new meaning.
Civic shame: I found your article offensive at a time when we are trying to impress out-of-towners. You should be ashamed. Please think before you write again.
Cyndie Fargo Fisher
Irony overload: A photo in your visitors' guide feature portrays an apparently crazed and body-painted fan of the death penalty holding a sign reading, "Save your pardons for Florida." The same photo appeared in a Houston Press article ["Stand Up and Holler," by Lauren Kern, February 3, 2000] that correctly stated that the actor was hired to participate in a satirical piece being filmed for death penalty opponent Michael Moore's television show, The Awful Truth.
I understand that Mr. Connelly's piece is intended to be an ironic swipe at Texas's status as a leader in executions, but will readers know that the photo portrays an individual taking a similarly ironic stance? They certainly won't gather this information from the photo's caption, which seems to imply that it's not unusual for Texans to paint their bodies and celebrate every time someone is put to death.
I've grown accustomed to the Houston Press's attempts at irony, even if I rarely find them funny or truly insightful. For some real irony, try this one on for size: A newspaper that carried perhaps the only real investigative journalism in Houston (by Tim Fleck) is also the same newspaper that has a cover officially sponsored by Budweiser. But your use of this photo is misleading and bordering on very bad journalism.
Rockin' out: You guys are such assholes for running that article. You should be ashamed. Houston rocked this past week, and everyone I spoke to loved the city and had a blast.
You guys are idiots. Go to fucking Dallas.
Lakewood charity: While I can appreciate most of the "guide" with tongue firmly in cheek, I really think you must have a personal problem with Lakewood Church.
How can you characterize them as greedy when they provide so much for so many? For example, when the city was under water, Lakewood threw open its doors, let people sleep in the sanctuary and helped people, when they had no one else to turn to.
Menus Don't Matter?
Don't regulate: Does Robb Walsh have nothing better to do than to call for stricter regulations on restaurant menus ["The Cow Says 'Oink'" January 22]? Bottom line: If you didn't cook it, you don't know what's in it.
Plenty of dishes have ingredients that are not listed in their menu description. For instance, most meat loaf has pork in it. Rich-tasting soups are often flavored with some type of bacon fat or prosciutto. Sometimes pie crust has lard in it.
If you have dietary restrictions that forbid you from eating something, you need to police them yourself. You should not depend on "regulations" to help you follow your religion. Pork fat and flavoring are everywhere. Deal with it. But don't go around with your little doggie bags trying to create a sensational news story where there isn't one.
Pork profiteers: The restaurant owners and chefs who substitute pork for veal should be ashamed they are perpetuating such a blatant fraud.
And I'm sure they are -- all the way to bank. I work for a well-known local restaurant (back-office administration) and know how much veal costs from looking at the invoices. The only excuse these owners and chefs have for substituting pork for veal is money -- pure profit. Veal is expensive; substitute pork for veal voilà more money in the bank.
What a disgrace!
No vegan; no veal: I don't see a problem with substituting pork for veal. Okay, I'm not Jewish (in the religious sense) and I love Zin! But I've always been against eating veal. You know: the deplorable conditions, the young dairy calves aren't allowed to move, force-feeding, they're babies!
I'm no vegan either, mind you, but I do think eating "babies" is more than a little horrible. That's right. No lamb, fertilized chicken eggs, caviar, Bambi (Bambi's mom is okay -- wink), etc.
Patricia Ruth Schaefer
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